Why I Love Watercolor Painting

For the most part, everyone has a hobby. Mine is watercolor painting—and here’s why I’ve loved it as a hobby for so long.

Water color painting of a cabin in the woods, why I love

Everyone needs something that inspires them—an activity you’re passionate about. That something for me is painting—watercolors to be exact. When I get in a painting mood, everything else just goes away. It’s just me and the paper and the flow of watercolors. The whole world disappears and time means nothing.

I took a 15-year hiatus from painting while I was raising my kids and managing a very full household. And maybe that’s exactly why my return to painting has been so sweet. It’s been like coming home to an old friend. And I’ve been extremely surprised to find that my talents—while rusty—have not gone away completely. It has been more like riding a bicycle. Some things you don’t forget—it just takes time to spark those creative juices again.

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Painting is creative, and creativity is something every human being needs. We all have the ability to be creative, believe it or not. And it doesn’t have to be artistic to be considered creative!

Being creative requires being vulnerable, letting go, and exploring all possibilities. It’s asking: “What if?” and pushing boundaries. When I paint in watercolors, I start with color washes. Wetting the paper with clear water, then pouring colors from dishes, tilting the paper the way I want the color to spread, pooling color in certain areas. It’s haphazard, messy, colorful, and scary.

Not all washes work out and not all colors mix the way I’d like. It’s trial and error. Sometimes I do multiple layers of washes, called glazing—drying in between each wash, then pouring another color wash on top.

Ever since I started painting again, my fascination has been with painting cabins. I like to create scenes at dusk where golden light from the cabin windows beckons you to come join around the fire. I love the way it makes me feel. Painting is an outlet for me, an escape. It can be incredibly challenging, and then in the next moment, incredibly thrilling when I’ve created something that makes me really proud of my work. Watercolors give me those moments. That’s why I love watercolor painting.

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